Anorak, Mac, Raincoat, Parka, Jacket

I made an anorak! I never even use the word anorak, I don't think many Australians do, we say raincoat, or jacket, or coat, but I say it now because I've got one.

This is the Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak with the lining extension pack.  They are sold separately, $US14 + $US8 so not cheap but I really wanted to tackle a big project and I knew I'd prefer the jacket if it was lined so I gathered my supplies and waited for the lining pattern to be released. I bought the original pattern last year in the Thanksgiving sale, which is the start of summer in Australia.

Unusually for me, I had all my fabric, notions and matching thread folded neatly in a bag, just waiting for the final piece of the puzzle. The outer fabric is maroon cotton drill from Spotlight, not thick or waterproof but sturdy and with a nice soft texture.

The lining is also from Spotlight, bought over a year and stashed for a dress or something. It's a soft, flowy rayon with a fine leaf pattern.

The zip is from Textile Traders and the snaps I ended up using are from there too, although I did try some from Spotlight first, but just couldn't quite get them to work. 

This project came after about a month of lost sewing mojo, and it has completely restored my enthusiasm. 

I knew it was going to be a big project, there are dozens of pieces and more than 100 steps in the instructions, so I just settled in and decided to work through it until it was done. 

It took me an evening to cut out the pattern pieces (I always get my pdfs printed in A0 at the copyshop if I can, and in this case I certainly did). 

Then I did my cutting out and I am not exaggerating when I say it took hours. 

I had to leave the pieces sitting there for a few days before I was ready to tackle the sewing. 
There is a slight disadvantage in the pattern and the lining expansion being sold separately is that you do end up with pattern pieces you don't need. Heather has drafted the sleeves for the lined version, so provides those pattern pieces as well, and it all has to be worked out when you are cutting.

I also think there may be a small mistake, the pattern has you cut a hood facing out of lining fabric, but it's not needed in the final make. I sewed it on before realising and having to cut it off.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I expected this to be a long haul project so took it slow and steady and didn't try to rush. The instructions are good, and all the notches match very well.

I made the shell, the pockets and the hood one Saturday, the hood lining and jacket lining on Sunday and put the hood together. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after work I added a hanging hook at the back collar. I added the zip to the plackets and got the placket and facings on the jacket, and somehow, with a bit of easing and handstitching, got the lining bagged out and stitched down.

My only stumbling block has been the snaps. I have tried two kinds, and while I can get them hammered in successfully, they won't snap open again. That's fine for the pockets as the snaps are purely decorative, but for the front closure it's a problem.

I'm sure what I'm going to do as I don't feel like buying yet more snaps, and I have been wearing it quite happily without, although I suspect it would look more finished with the brass snaps. 

All up however, I am chuffed. 

I've pulled off a coat, with a lining, something I've never made before. I love the final result and the lining feels soft and luxurious. It's not the warmest winter coverup ever, but it's fine for the mild winter days we have been having and the fit is great. The pockets are perfectly sized and ideal for woolly gloves, phones and keys and the whole thing is hugely practical for my lifestyle.

 And I love the colour and the fact that it doesn't look in the least handmade.

Fabric: shell is cotton drill from Spotlight, three metres at $5 a metre (bargain!), lining is two metres of printed rayon at Spotlight, $12.95 a metre.
Notions and binding: Not sure but I think it must come to at least $25.
Total cost: ~$65 


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